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Even “good guys” are guys nonetheless.

And you can quote me on that one.

We’ve all seen it.  The quintessential “good guy”, with his sharp wardrobe, winning smile, and extensive vocabulary. Or maybe he has a lucrative job, a respectable major, sizable ambition, a habit of talking about the kind of woman he wants to marry, and the tendency to go to church on Sundays. More often than not, he’s got a decent face and a more-than-decent body (not always, but there seems to be a pattern).  And more often than not, there are girls of every color, creed, complexion, hair type, education level, and moral compass swooning over him.  Why, you might ask? Because he’s got something special.  I call it the “Bring Home To Mama (And Maybe Even Daddy) Factor”.

This quality is much coveted among the female species, because, as we get older, our inner Sandra-Dee/Bella Swan dies; we start to see the Danny Zukos and Edward Cullens for what they really are: deadbeat druggies and sparkling idiots who peaked in high school.  We lose the desire to piss off dear-old-Dad, because, let’s face it, someone’s gotta pay that tuition bill on the 15th of the month. And Mom has transformed from a raving lunatic who doesn’t understand us and wants to ruin our lives into one of our closest friends.  We’ve learned by now that the bad boy isn’t just called that because he wears a leather jacket, has a sleeve tattoo, or rides a motorcycle; he also smokes lots of weed (and possibly crack-cocaine), either cheats often or accuses us of the same thing (while simultaneously cheating on us), has a couple of baby-mamas, and has come painfully close to putting his hands on us a few times.

The “good guy” represents to us safety, security, and a drama-free, picket-fenced happy home one day in the future.  Which is why we are utterly blindsided when he has us drinking Captain Morgan out of a champagne glass, while sitting in the bathtub crying to Adele’s “Don’t You Remember”, or going on livid Twitter rants because we just knew he would be different, and he proved us wrong.

He wasn’t supposed to make us feel like we’re special because we’re beautiful and stylish and have a good head on our shoulders, and then like the campus hoe’s profile picture on Facebook.  He wasn’t supposed to lie about his relationship status, and then trick us into helping him cheat on his girlfriend. He wasn’t supposed to only hit us up when he’s drunk or during Booty Call Hours (12am-3am) pretending that he just wants to study or “hang out”, then playfully pin us on the bed, have “one thing lead to another”, and make us swear that we won’t tell anyone in the morning.  He wasn’t supposed to be the one with nudes of big-titted, big-assed, okay-faced females in his phone.  He wasn’t supposed to be the one with the drinking problem and the tendency to call us “fat”, “ugly”, “worthless”, or “a whore” when he gets inebriated.  He wasn’t supposed to try to hook up with one of our best friends behind our backs, because he thinks we’ll never find out.

The “good guy” was supposed to be looking for his counterpart, the “good girl”, who doesn’t show cleavage during business hours, works out for herself, loves children, wants to own her own business one day, and tweets Bible verses every once in a while.  Or at least the “cool girl”, who listened to Kendrick Lamar before everyone else found out about him, makes Youtube makeup tutorials, is an avid basketball fan, likes to draw in her free time, and can rock a pair of five-inch heels like a Victoria’s Secret model.  He was supposed to rise above his unstable home life, not repeat it.  He was supposed to be patient, and sensitive, and faithful, and sweet, and honest, and willing to wait until we were ready.

But therein lies the fallacy of the “good guy”.  We, as females, tend to forget that at the end of the day, even “good guys” are guys nonetheless. If he’s anatomically male, he’s likely to be mentally male also; and, if we’re being honest, that pesky pecker controls just as much of his behavior as his brain.  (Quite often, he adopted all of his “Bring Home To Mama” qualities with the intention of attracting girls who would be blindly drawn in by them, and wouldn’t expect such regular guy antics.)

While the blunt masculinity of his species is welcomed in some cases, it can also be a disappointing reminder of a sad truth that I’m learning very quickly this year: the all around “good guy” is probably a myth.  Guys are guys, that’s it.  When it comes to patterned behavior, there is no hierarchy.  ”Bad boys” may surprise us just as much as good ones; anyone is capable of doing anything.

I’m not writing this from a place of bitterness, I promise.  This is not a “Niggas ain’t shit!” rant.  The funny thing is, I’m actually not bitter about this discovery at all; I’m just a realist.  My aim with all of this is to simply dispel the rumor that these “Bring Home To Mama” types operate on some sort of moral higher ground from the rest of their male colleagues, in hopes that it will save some of you the shock and chagrin that I’ve endured in the past.  I’m not suggesting that you never trust another “good guy” again.  But don’t be fooled by his exterior.  He might just be a plain old, lying, cheating, baby-having, “options”-exploring, relationship-disrespecting, notch-on-his-bedpost-having, booty-call-making, “The only thing better than pussy is new pussy,”-quoting guy cleverly disguised as an articulate, bowtie-sporting, pre-med student who writes spoken word poetry, listens to gospel music, and claims to love the movie Love & Basketball.

Just .. don’t get too comfortable.

Ford Focus vs. BMW M3

The wisest woman I know (my mother) once taught me a very valuable lesson about love and self-respect.  I’ve decided that it is just too good to keep to myself.

[DISCLAIMER: I would like to apologize in advance to any Ford Focus owners/drivers.  I am using this vehicle as an example, simply to prove a point.  I do not in any way look down on people who drive this car, own this car, or like this car.  Hell, I don’t have the right to hate on any vehicle in my current (car-less) state, so please don’t take this the wrong way.]

I am never a proponent of the objectification of women, but for the sake of the simile, let’s examine two types of cars.

First, you have the Ford Focus.

While the Focus is a decent vehicle, and is going to ultimately get you where you want to go, it’s not very expensive.  It doesn’t require much to obtain said vehicle.  No one is going to look at you, pushing your Focus, and say “Oh, you fancy, huh?”  As my mother would put it, anybody can get a Focus.  Nobody’s going to care if you kick your Focus when you get upset, or leave it in the snow over Winter Break, or let the battery die out in a parking lot.  It’s not a symbol of status, it’s a symbol of necessity.  It’s not extremely popular, not extremely sought after, and gets pretty good gas mileage.

Next, let’s look at the BMW M3.

The BMW M3 is a nice ass vehicle.  It’s not only going to get you where you want to go, but you’re going to get there in style.  The Beemer is going to cost you a pretty penny, but you knew that when you went to buy it.  And you’re willing to pay that price, because you know that when you pull up to the party, people are going to immediately recognize your swag.  You’re going to turn heads in the street.  Everyone who knows you will figure, you must have your stuff together if you can afford such a whip.  Even if it’s not their car, people are going to make sure you don’t mistreat a BMW.  Their not going to let you drive it around dirty, or hide it in the garage.  The Beemer is a status symbol, a success symbol, and shows that you not only like nice things, but that you’re willing to take care of them.

How does this relate to women? (If you haven’t made the connection already.)

Ladies, don’t be the Focus; be the Beemer.

There should be an element of exclusivity to you; not everybody and anybody should be able to obtain you.  Anyone who pursues you should know that you are going to cost them something; it is going to take some effort to obtain you.  People aren’t even going to try to step to you unless they have their shit together, because they know you’re not accepting just any application.  People are going to work on themselves to make sure they measure up to you, and you’re going to make people want to be about their business.  Any guy (or girl, depending on what you’re into) who manages to occupy your interest is going to want to show you off because it will be a testament to their status, their success, their intellect, etc. And when they roll up to a party with you on their arm, people are going to automatically give them respect, because they must be doing something right, if they’ve got you.  The Beemer may cost more for gas and maintenance, but if you’re a Beemer, he’s going to be willing to pay that cost because they understand that you’re worth it.  Also, if you’re a Beemer, your friends (as well as his) aren’t just going to let him treat you any kind of way.  They’re going to call him out when he’s acting crazy, and check him when he comes at you wrong.  They’re going to remind him (if he does forget what kind of quality vehicle he has) that he can’t just treat you like any old Focus, because there are plenty of other drivers who would be willing to take much better care of you.

Put simply, Focuses are approached during booty call hours by people only interested in driving their mileage up, denting their bumper, and then leaving them, used, in the back of some vacant lot with a scribbled For Sale sign in their rearview window; Beemers are courted during business hours by people with dreams and ambitions, who are looking for a vehicle that indicates their hard work and their style.  Beemers are washed, waxed, and protected; they are not dented, they are not driven by untrustworthy friends and family members, they are not parked near the shopping cart corals at Wal-Mart because their drivers are not going to risk them being even slightly damaged.  They are respected, they are highly regarded, and they are kept around for the foreseeable future.

Also, I would like to note that some of us females have the ability to be Beemers, but we allow ourselves to be treated like Fords.  We look like M3s on the outside, fine and shiny and sleek and sexy; but you get us behind closed doors and we act like Focuses, with no standards for our suitors.  On the contrary, some women appear as if they should be taking whatever comes their way on looks alone, but they hold their heads up high and they refuse anyone who even hints of scrub tendencies.  These personas are a mindset, not a physicality.

I would also like to note that, in some cases, he may be trying to gauge which category you fall into.  Do not be afraid to check him when he initially fails to give you the M3 treatment; if you don’t, you will inevitably become a Focus.

I know I did not cover all of the bases (or put it nearly as wisely as my mother did); feel free to add to what I’ve written, or even disagree.  But this is how I was taught.  I hope that at least one person will read this and start commanding the respect they deserve.

BMW M3

Ford Focus

P.s. I don’t know much about cars, so if the references I used were kind of off, forgive me.

How To Not Be All Sad and Mopey About Your Life All The Time

Yesterday, after an Alexander-the-Great-style terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, I fell into a seemingly bottomless pit of sad tweets and depressing Tumblr reblogs that lasted most of the early afternoon. Thanks to some encouraging words from my real friends and a little good ol’ fashioned motherly optimism from hers truly, I picked myself up by my emotional bootstraps and started to see the silver (or silver-ish) linings hidden in my overcast outlook.  Today, when something I saw threatened to pull me back into my slump, I had a little bit of an epiphany.  I had tweeted something earlier yesterday, in the midst of my downward spiral, to the effect of “Sometimes it’s okay to have no one you can talk to when you’re going through it. It teaches you to be your own strength ..” What I mean by that is, sometimes you have to take control of your own happiness.  Here’s how I did it, and how you can, too.

  1. Count your blessings. I know it sounds cliché, but no matter how things get, more often than not, they could always be worse.  If you hate that you’re single, remember that there are shelters filled with women who wish they had the luxury of being crazy-nigga-free (you know what I mean).  If you don’t have any friends that you can really count on, don’t forget that you can always be there for yourself; it will make you so much stronger. I used to always get down about not being in a relationship, or even seeing one anywhere on the horizon.  But now, I see what some of my friends go through with their significant others, and I’ve learned that I’m just not that type of girl.  I have plenty of friends who, even at 18 years-old, are going through the old ball and chain situation, or the “He’s too much of a guy to discuss his feelings” thing, or even the “He cheated on me, but I still love him” deal.  I like to get my Nelly Furtado on, and being tied down and lovey dovey and hanging on some nigga’s every word just isn’t my cup of tea right now.  I would be miserable having to call and check in with someone all the time, or dress up in heels and a full face of makeup every weekend, or sending “good morning” and “sweet dreams” texts at this point in my life, and I’m okay with that. No sense in crying over it. My time will come, and not a moment too late.  And even if I do get lonely sometimes, at least I didn’t eff around and have to take care of a baby that looks just like the guy I love to hate while he’s out getting his jollies off in someone else’s playground.  As funny as it sounds, just think of it this way: The grass on the other side may be greener, but the grass is always shittier somewhere.
  2. Give yourself a moment to be sad; Then MTFU. Earlier today, I stumbled upon a tweet that made me extremely uneasy. It was one of those “anyone wanna join me doing x, y, and z? ladies, please” kinda tweets; and it put me in one of those ”I’m up here having to think about him while he’s thinkin’ about not just one other girl, but droves of hoes .. wish he was thinkin’ about me, at least a little bit” kinda moods.  All of a sudden, my mind was racing with undeserved annoyance, misguided jealousy, and girlish sadness.  Then, I stopped myself.  I learned this from a movie.  When asked how he never got scared doing whatever it was that he did for a living, this guy (I wanna say Ethan Hawke) said that he did.  But he confessed that he gave himself 5-10 seconds to freak out inside his head, and then he got over it and got back to the task at hand. (I really should figure out what that movie was, it changed my life.) So I employed this practice earlier today.  I closed my eyes, and gave myself ten seconds to think all of the negative things about this boy, and all of the negative things about myself that involuntarily came with thinking about him, and then, as I opened my eyes, I dropped it.  Give yourself a time limit.  Don’t pore over all of the glass-half-empty thoughts swirling through your head.  Let them dominate for only a short time, then take back control.  Put them out of your head, and move on.  Now, I believe I was born a G, but I understand that everyone doesn’t have this ability right away.  It takes practice, but at least try to minimize the time that you feel sorry for yourself each day, so you’re not crying yourself to sleep every night.  If you need help thinking positive after your sad-freak-out time’s up, refer back to #1.
  3. Do things that make you happy.  Again, I know this sounds cliché as hell, but we spend so much time trying to please everyone else.  Sometimes you just have to do things that make you happy, even if they don’t make sense to anyone else.  Throw inhibitions and judgments to the wind, and make yourself smile.  Now I’m not saying go out and kill the person that made you sad, because it’ll cheer you the fuck up.  But, for example, yesterday, after I got out of my funk, I ordered a Giordano’s Tropic Deep Dish Pizza.  Then on the way home from picking it up, I stopped by Potbelly and got a vanilla shake, a bag of salt & vinegar potato chips, and one of their signature sugar cookies.  (If you don’t live near me, that probably means nothing to you; just know that those are all some of my favorite things to eat in my hometown.) And I didn’t apologize for any of it.  I’m sure all of the signs to everyone standing behind me in line pointed to a pity party that I would pay for in the gym in the morning, but I didn’t worry about what they were thinking.  And today, I slept until three in the afternoon without having to answer to anybody.  When I woke up, I watched cartoons in my pajamas, then washed my hair and stayed in the shower until my fingers were all raisin-ey.  And as lazy and weird and unproductive as that sounds, I was unbelievably blissfully happy.  Trust me, if you do it within reason, it really helps.
  4. If you don’t like it, change it. If you can’t change it, learn to love it. This sounds a lot easier said than done, so I’ll give you my personal example.  I often get depressed about my weight.  It’s easy to feel like Sisyphus when it comes to getting in shape, but at the end of the day, I’m like this because of me, so it will only change when I decide it has to.  ”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said Einstein.  If I don’t like my weight, I’ll have to change something in order to like it.  Another physical thing: I hate my feet! Feet in general, but especially my own.  I wish people had been created like Bratz dolls, with those little nubby balls for feet that just stuck into shoes.  But anyway, I can’t change my feet. But I make sure them ugly mugs are consistently pedicured, polished, and moisturized.  I buy heels that take attention off of my feet, or showcase them in just the right way.  And I learned that they’re not going anywhere, so I better get used to them.
  5. Do something good for someone else, for you. This sounds a little funny, but I’ll explain.  It really warms my heart when I do things to help people.  It has just as much of a pick-me-up effect on me as it does on those on the receiving end.  Yesterday, after my mopey period was up, I remembered a cause I’d been meaning to help.  (Call it what you will, I believe God reminded me.)  I went onto the website for fashionABLE scarves and read about the organization and the stories behind each scarf.  If you know me, you know that that is probably the one main accessory that I own in an excessive amount and am willing to splurge on.  Not only were the scarves super cute, but they weren’t much more expensive than those you’d find at H&M.  And each scarf comes with a grateful message.  The one I like the most, the Dember, says “Because of you, I am ABLE to Feel dignity in my work. Thank you, Dember.”  My next paycheck, I vow to purchase one.  It lifts my spirits to not only have a cute scarf, but to know that I’ve made even a small difference in the life of someone else.  If #1, #2, #3, and #4 don’t work, I promise this one will.

Now, I’m not licensed to give advice or anything, so don’t blame me if you’re still all sad and mopey after you try all of this.  I’m just telling you what works for me for now, in hopes that it will help somebody.

Happy happiness-finding,
Cicely